GI Suicide: Maybe It’s the Job?

GI Suicide: Maybe It’s the Job? By Lawrence Wilkerson.

The suicide rate among veterans and, now, among active-duty GIs is at an historic high. …

Let’s look at a few of the likely reasons for high GI suicide rates that such leaders are either too stupid to detect or too afraid to call out.

First, … the past 18 years of constant wars have been the most inequitable years in U.S. history. That is, the poor and the disadvantaged have done the bleeding and dying while the well-off have escaped scot-free. That reality alone must drive some GIs to despair.

Second, these GIs have killed or helped to kill more than 400,000 human beings in these wars. Killing at that level affects people. It particularly affects people when they are unable to explain the reason for the killing or, worse, when they know the reasons and don’t care for them.

The U.S. government has told these young men and women that they are killing these people for freedom’s sake, for democracy, for women’s rights, for justice, to protect Americans, and for all manner of reasons that these troops know are just so much hogwash.

US GI in Iraq

Third, the United States … has broken treaties, defied the rule of law, and smashed international covenants at will. …

Fourth, the 99 percent of America with no skin in the game of war makes sure to say quite frequently “thank you for your service” to any of these GIs encountered at airports, in restaurants, on the street, or elsewhere. From my own experience talking with serving troops and veterans — including a triple-amputee at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — nothing galls them more. They see the 99 percent assuaging their guilt with a few meaningless words that don’t do a thing to alleviate the GIs’ concerns. In fact, such triteness deepens those concerns. …

Generals and admirals lie almost as frequently as their commanders-in-chief. “Yes,” they report from Baghdad, “these Iraqi soldiers can defend their country.” Then the Islamic State proves otherwise. “Just give me more troops and I’ll win in Afghanistan.” Right. “The F-35 is an outstanding aircraft.” Then straight out of the door to work for Lockheed Martin for a seven-figure reward.